Walgreens Getting out of Pharmacy Benefit Management Biz

March 11, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Walgreen Co. plans to sell its pharmacy benefit management business to Catalyst Health Solutions Inc.

Reuters reports the $525 million cash deal will allow Walgreens to focus on its drugstore and health-care businesses. For Catalyst, the deal will double the volume of prescriptions it manages to 165 million annually, while membership will jump to 18 million from about 7 million.   

According to the news report, aside from the nearly 7,700 drugstores it operates, Walgreens also has direct relationships with employers, such as Caterpillar Inc., to provide prescription drugs. It also provides specialty at-home medical treatments such as intravenous infusions.   

The deal is expected to close by the end of June.